22.09.2021 | Large comparative study by the University of Münster

Battery costs to be halved by 2050

What will batteries cost in the future? A team of researchers from the Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität (WWU) Münster has looked into this question, which is important for the success of the mobility and energy transition. In a comprehensive comparative study, they come to the conclusion: By 2050, the cost of batteries will be halved compared to today.

The costs for batteries today are like those for solar power. They have been showing a clear downward trend for years. This is important, because batteries are central components of electric vehicles and stationary energy storage systems. However, batteries are not yet fully competitive today. A further reduction in the cost of batteries is necessary for an economically viable transition to a climate-neutral and CO2-free society.

Many scientific studies show where the costs of batteries are heading. However, they result in very different conclusions. For example, the range of calculated costs for the year 2030 is between 100 and 400 dollars per kilowatt hour (kWh).

Comparative study provides more clarity

A team of researchers from the WWU Münster has therefore examined the future cost development of batteries in detail in a comprehensive comparative study and published it in the journal "Energy & Environmental Science". The study examines more than 50 scientific publications from the past decade that deal with the costs of lithium-ion, solid-state, lithium-sulphur and lithium-air batteries.

The study shows: Battery costs are falling - even assuming pessimistic commodity price scenarios. "Lithium-ion batteries have not yet reached their cost limit. The regression of system cost expectations shows a reduction to 70 dollars per kilowatt-hour by 2050 - about half compared to today's market prices," explains Lukas Mauler from the Institute for Business Management at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy at WWU Münster.

Cost limit still a long way off

In particular, the development of more advanced battery materials such as high-energy and high-voltage cathode materials would hold additional cost potential compared with today. In addition, the studies examined would underline the potential for post-lithium-ion technologies, which are not yet economically competitive today.

The detailed results of the comparative study on battery cost predictions have been published as a review article in the journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

More information about the future of batteries can be found here.

Important for the energy transition

Battery storage systems will be an important element in the energy turnaround. Power from new, renewable energy sources does not always flow when it is needed, but rather when the sun shines or the wind blows. Energy flow and energy demand rarely coincide. This power can be stored for a few hours or days – and different kinds of power storage systems exist for this purpose. However, there is a lack of solutions to store large volumes of energy from summer production for the winter.

Axpo has been active in the construction, operation, management and marketing of large-scale battery storage systems for some time. In Switzerland, the company developed for example a 2-MW battery storage facility in Rapperswil-Jona in 2019, and at the end of 2020 initiated the construction of a 6.25-MW storage system in Rathausen/Lucerne. Internationally, Axpo markets the flexibility options of a 30-MW battery storage system in Yllikkälä, Finland. By means of an IT platform, flexibility options from power storage and decentralised renewable energy facilities are marketed on the ancillary service and balancing energy markets, as well as in day-ahead and intraday trading. Axpo’s battery storage services will now also be specifically developed on an international scale.

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